The REAL test for a good (Italian) restaurant is the CROWD willing to wait to be seated because the restaurant is so popular that there are no empty tables to "just walk in and be seated" at 7PM on a Sunday night! Welcome to Ciao Bistro! I'm not sure WHY Pompeo's failed to prosper in this prime location, but Ciao Bistro has relocated to this site and has kept it Italian... fine Italian! In our party of four, two had chicken parmesan, one had the eggplant parmesan... deemed very tasty. I decided to have the "chicken ciao" which was an excellent red wine reduction with sausage, onion, mushrooms & succulent tender chicken breast! The side I chose was a delightful eggplant saute that was a daily special. Good choices... I'll be going back next visit to Amelia Island for the "chicken ciao" no doubt!
According to our carriage guide, Luigi's had closed & when Pompeo's folded, that left the downtown historic area without an Italian fare offering... except that Ciao Bistro relocated downtown after a few years in a different Fernandina Beach location. It might also be noted that Ciao Bistro is owned by a chef who decided to open HIS OWN PLACE after being chef at the Ritz-Carleton resort in Fernandina Beach! No surprise that a former Ritz-Carleton chef runs a fine dining restaurant!
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